This is a question that an increasing number of engaged couples ask themselves, as they begin to consider and make plans for their dream day.

Well the answer is really quite straightforward . . . a celebrant-led wedding ceremony offers far greater CHOICE for all couples, simply because the wedding . . .

1. can take place ANYWHERE (no restrictions whatsoever on location – indoors or outside – and no need to book a venue with a wedding licence);
2. can include and say ANYTHING you wish (no limitation on content);
3. can take place at ANY TIME (if a candlelit evening ceremony is for you – then that is what you can arrange);

4. can be ANY LENGTH – as long or as brief as you wish;
5. can take place on ANY DAY;
6. enables you to include personalised, vows and promises, ANY WAY you wish to say them. Some couples like to write their own vows, keeping these a secret in the lead up to their big day, whilst others prefer to make the same promises, ‘saying after’ their celebrant. Whatever a couple’s preference, I’m always happy to guide and advise as much or as little as is needed, providing example wording to get things started, if that is wanted; and helping to balance the wording, if couples want to exchange vows that are different from each other;

7. can include ANYBODY, as celebrant-led weddings give couples the opportunity to involve friends and family members in the ceremony – perhaps sharing readings, acting as witnesses to a certificate signing or candle lighting – or other symbolic moments you might choose to include;
8. having a celebrant take control of all the detail in your ceremony, alleviates any worries or stress a couple might feel as they ask themselves, is there ANYONE IN CHARGE? A good celebrant will offer a rehearsal (something I always encourage all of my couples to take advantage of); they will guide and support you, ‘holding your hands’ metaphorically speaking, throughout; ensuring everything runs smoothly prior to and during the ceremony . . .

. . . and very often the financial investment of a celebrant alongside a legal registration, is no more or little more, than if a couple were to book a legally binding ceremony in a register office or church – or arrange for a registrar to attend a licensed venue. If a couple wishes to be legally married prior to their celebrant-led ceremony (most often the case for couples with whom I work), then the legal formalities can be arranged and dealt with easily, for a minimal fee, prior to the wedding day. See my guide to ‘Making It Legal’ on my website www.janeblackmanweddings.co.uk

Photos courtesy of Firefly Photographic www.fireflyphotographic.com